Sunday, April 24, 2011


This weekend I spent some time in Pleasanton with my folks. It was a good time. Dad surprised me by taking my car to get the headlights cleaned and a full tank of gas. So appreciated! Our iTunes/iPod tutorials went well. Mom and I did some shopping and talking. Girl time is always good with her. Lots of time for all three of us to visit. I survived the "church of the Spurs" on Saturday night and finally got to meet my friends' sweet baby this morning.

No trip to Pleasanton would be complete without a trip to Wal-Mart. I REALLY don't like Wal-Mart and only go when I'm visiting the parents. Since I don't like it, I don't give it the time or energy to look nice going there. So when I walked in to grab something for Mom on Saturday, here is how I looked: no make-up, pony tail, glasses, t-shirt, and yoga pants. Not "People of Wal-Mart" worthy but Clinton and Stacy would have had a fit! So I put my head down and focused on getting what I needed so I could leave quickly. As I walked through the produce department, I noticed from the corner of my eye a man putting out tomatoes. He was an older man that was about 5 inches shorter than me and quite stout. His teeth were not in the best shape. We met eyes for just a moment so I nodded and smiled a quick hello. He stopped what he was doing, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, "You have a pretty smile." I thanked him and kept on going.

As I grabbed the couple of things Mom needed, I noticed I was smiling a lot. It's amazing that one sentence from a random stranger can make you feel so good - especially when you know exactly how you really look! While it may not have come from someone expected or hoped for, that compliment totally made my day.

So to the produce packer at Wal-Mart, thanks for smile. Apparently it was very needed.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ezra 3 - Roots Style

Last fall, it became pretty apparent that I was needing to change Sunday Bible Studies. I had heard about a new one starting up called Roots. I went a few times and knew that I had found the place I needed to be. I've been there about 5 months now and love it.

Currently we are going through the book of Ezra. We are taking two weeks per chapter and discussing the historical and theological lessons we can learn from the Israelites as they returned to Jerusalem to build the temple. We are a very discussion based class. Tonight was no different. We had a lesson in chapter 3 (obviously) in which we discussed the roles of sacrifice and worship. Ezra 3:3 says that the Israelites literally had fear ON them. No one wanted them there and they were in constant danger. So how did the Israelites respond? They did not build walls of protection. They built an alter to sacrifice on and then to worship. They recognized the need for God's protection over what they could physically do themselves. Our discussion questions were really good and very thought provoking. I'll be thinking about them all week long. In case you want to join my pondering, here you go:

1. What about God requires sacrifice?
2. What can God's response to sacrifice teach us about Him?
3. What does it mean that Christ did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped (Phil. 2:5-11)?
4. What did it cost God to humble himself and become obedient to the point of death?
5. In preparation for Holy Week, how does understanding the cost of God's sacrifice inspire you to respond in worship (Romans 12:1-2)?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Growing Young

Every other Wednesday, I have dinner with my grandparents at their church. We visit for a while, go eat at their church, and then visit again at their house. It is good to see them but I often feel a little weird about dinner at their church. It feels like I'm showing up for the food and that's it. I know the grandparents like it so we go. This past Wednesday, I was actually really excited to go to SBPC Wednesday night supper - it was All American Night.

As odd as it sounds, I L.O.V.E. this night. Every year, the men take over the meal on the Wednesday after Opening Day of baseball season. They are an older congregation so the men are all nearly old enough to be my grandpa. They really do go All-American. The meal is hot dogs with ballpark fixins and sides. They have apple pie for dessert. They walk around with little paper hats and drinks on serving trays yelling "Cold (root) beer!" They toss cracker jacks and peanuts at your table. Abbot and Costello's "Who's on First" played on a loop while we ate. When the meal was over, we played baseball trivia (provided by AARP) at our tables and sang a rousing rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" while a sweet little old man played his banjo. They had a list of the best baseball movies on each table and they put together a decent list (for the most part).

The best part of the night is watching these men really get into it. While each man had gray hair (if they had any left), they were just little boys again. Each one of them were remembering the game they love. Each trivia question didn't just get answered, they got explained and stories were told. Their voices may have warbled but they were full of enthusiasm. They were highly engaged and making a night of it. I imagine that this is what "The Sandlot" kids will look like in their sixties and seventies.

I don't think we ever outgrow our inner child. I truly believe that no matter how old we get, there's still that little kids who wants to play. That night, I have no doubt that those men would have given anything to slide into home for the winning run or struck out the last batter in the bottom of the ninth to win the game. They were itching for it. Though our bodies age, our spirits never do. I saw it Wednesday night. It was in the twinkle in their eye.....

Sunday, April 03, 2011

TraffickJam 2011 - Houston

TraffickJam 2011 is coming to Houston! On May 7th, individuals nation wide will participate in a walk-a-thon aimed at helping to eradicate human trafficking (specifically young children) in South East Asia.

Official Website:

TraffickJam Houston FAQ:

1. Why should you participate?
Everyday, children (specifically little girls) are sold to be used and abused by men - most in horrific circumstances. We can do something to stop this. By raising awareness and funds, we can step in and help a child escape this life. We can stop trafficking.

2. What is the distance for the walk?
The goal/route is 10 miles but feel free to walk what you feel comfortable.

3. Is there a cost?
Yes and no. If you would like to purchase a shirt, the cost is $15 to a contact person by April 17th. Email one of us and we will meet you to collect your shirt money This is not mandatory to participate. To help raise funds, here is the requested information: Ask ten people to sponsor you a dollar per mile. Basically, ten people donate $10 for a total of $100 per walk participant. Again, not mandatory but recommended. Anything we can give will help these children! All donations will be collected the day of the walk.

4. What should we expect on the day of the walk?
We will meet in the parking lot at the corner of Memorial Dr. and Memorial Mews (Between Hwy 6 and Eldridge south of I-10) at 7:30 a.m. We will be collecting funds and distributing shirts at that time. The walk will begin at 8:00 and will last as long as it takes you to take your walk.

5. Given the nature of the event, is it family friendly?
YES! All details are given on the official website for you to see there. The goal on the day of the walk is to raise awareness and unify for those children who do not have a voice. Bring your best friend, a stroller for your kids, and a leash for your dog Walk to get your cardio in for the day or take a long leisurely stroll.

6. Will water be provided?
There are water fountains throughout the park but participants are encouraged to bring a bottle of water with them.

7. What if I can't participate but want to donate funds?
Contact one of the individuals above and we will be happy to help you with that OR visit the website to donate online. Also, consider sponsoring someone you know that is walking.

If you have any other questions, leave a comment and I'll be happy to visit with you! We hope to see you on May 7th! Also, feel free to invite anyone you know that would like to participate! We would love to see as many people love these girls as possible!